Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy recovering after stabbed in neck trying to Baker Act man

Hillsborough County

GRAPHIC WARNING: Some viewers may find the video above disturbing.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after being stabbed in the neck on Sunday afternoon.

Deputies say on Oct. 11, they were called to a home in the Fishhawk Ranch neighborhood of Lithia for an involuntary mental health evaluation.

After approximately one hour of medical officials speaking with and evaluating Nicholas Furgason, 21, Ferguson fled from his home and ran into a heavily wooded area after learning he would be placed under the Baker Act.

Deputy Charles Williams pursued him on foot while Deputy Nicholas Cruz followed behind them in an HCSO marked patrol car. After a brief pursuit, Deputy Williams came into contact with Furgason on a wooded trail, and in an effort to calm him down, used de-escalation techniques.

Deputy Williams took Furgason’s right arm and attempted to detain him. Unknown to the deputy, Furgason had a knife on him. Furgason pulled the knife out with his left hand, reached over his right shoulder, and stabbed Deputy Williams in the neck.

Furgason again fled from the area while ignoring verbal commands from Deputy Williams to stop. Deputy Williams continued his pursuit for another 100 yards before successfully deploying his taser on Furgason. At this time, both Deputy Williams and Deputy Cruz were able to detain him.

The sheriff’s office says Deputy Williams was transported to a local hospital and was released on Monday morning.

“This is a prime example of the dangers deputies face while trying to serve and protect our community every day,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Deputy Williams used an incredible amount of restraint by deploying less-lethal force on an individual who attempted to take his life. We are grateful that Deputy Williams was not more seriously injured and will make a full recovery, however, that does not make this incident any less severe. We will see to it that this individual is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for his actions.”

Furgason was charged with attempted felony murder of a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and resisting an officer without violence. He is currently being held in jail on no bond.

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